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Old March 21st, 2014, 12:38 PM   #1
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Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

I need a music for an educational video (paid online video content) and I wonder how much does it cost? I am interested in WELL-KNOWN songs (Abba etc.) Where do I get the rights and HOW MUCH does it cost APPROXIMATELY? I am asking, because I need to determine my budget. Thanks for any answers.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

I believe ABBA's copyrights are held by their label, Universal Music. You would need to negotiate with the copyright owner. As to how much, there is no one answer, as it would vary by the negotiation. It's like asking "how much does a house cost"? Of course, the larger the house --- or larger the fame of the artists---the more it's going to cost you....

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; March 21st, 2014 at 04:51 PM. Reason: correct grammar
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Old March 21st, 2014, 01:05 PM   #3
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

The cost completely depends on the rights holder's discretion. Sometimes you can negotiate a deal based on the nature of the content. Be aware that you will probably have to pay BOTH the rights holder as well as the owner of the particular recording you want to use (not always the same person). The recording owner will often match whatever fee the rights holder charges you.

Also keep in mind that you will probably not be able to get the rights in perpetuity--there will probably be a 5-year time limit.

I recently negotiated a deal for $250/$250 for non-commercial use for 5 years. If I sell the video, though, I have to re-negotiate based on my planned distribution range/price.

You should start by calling the record label and asking for the licensing department. They will point you in the right direction.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 03:15 PM   #4
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

I've seen this question repeated many times over the years and the response is typically "Thousands of dollars...each!" for commercial use. Depending on the overall budget of your program, you and/or the clients may need to reconsider when you see the quotes. There are a lot of buy-out song libraries that offer sound-alike music, that might be labeled "in the style of ABBA" for instance. Not an ABBA song, but sounds similar, and certainly much more affordable.

Finn's $250 deal is not common, and is for NON-commercial use, big difference in licensing fees being charged.

Let us know what you find out

Thanks
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Old March 21st, 2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

What if I use only short part of the song? Is there a difference?
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Old March 21st, 2014, 04:49 PM   #6
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

Peter, what all of us have been saying is --- there are no real standards in price.
Whether it matters how much of a song you use is between you and the owner. It is a negotiation process, specific to each copyright holder and artist. You ask what their rates are and then try to negotiate a better price. If there are any expectations they are that Big Time Artists expect big bucks....
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Old March 21st, 2014, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

Also keep in mind it's not just the artists who get involved in this issue. It's the writers both the lyrics and the music, it's the publishers, it's the label...everyone gets a say and everyone gets a cut and everyone signs off. That's why a clearing house is needed. Harry Fox used to but to the best of my knowledge stopped some years ago. this is also why ad agencies and networks have a team of legal eagles working for them to handle the clearances. It can get complicated.
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Old March 21st, 2014, 07:07 PM   #8
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

It's usually not quite that complicated, though, Don. Between the rights-holder and the record-label, they kind of work it out on their end (in my experience).
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Old March 21st, 2014, 10:04 PM   #9
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Re: Music licensing - how much is well-known music going to cost?

yes, you're right but it can be complicated depending on who one is dealing with not to mention it can be quite expensive. Again it depends who you're dealing with, the music you want to use and the purpose you want to use it for.
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